PODCAST: This Hawaii comedian’s viral videos during the pandemic kept us coming back for more
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A funny thing happened to local funny man Tumua Tuinei.
While he was playing football at the University of Hawaii, he discovered his real talent.
“I took a standup comedy class. I took it just for fun, just to fill up my classes, and to get the easy A. I’d seen it in the class description. I said, ‘Standup comedy? Okay, I’ll try it.’ Did it. Ended up falling in love with it,” he said.
LISTEN: Listen to an extended interview with Tumua Tuinei on the “Tell Me a Story” podcast.
Tumua’s popularity really took off during the pandemic.
His live events were shut down, so he posted comedy sketches on social media. That grew his fan base by leaps and bounds.
“I kept pumping out videos and videos and videos,” he said. “I pretty much portrayed that every day local character that people know. I want people to watch my videos and be like, ‘I know that guy.’”
Like all good comedians, his material comes from personal experience and observations. He’s always on the lookout for new gags.
“A lot of comics say it’s just your experience in life so go out, travel, do things you don’t normally do so you can have something to talk about,” he said.
Tumua’s success is a product of hard work. He consistently sells out shows in Hawaii and on the mainland.
On Nov. 12 and 13, he played his dream gig as the headline act in the Blaisdell Arena.
“Last year I did the Blaisdell Concert Hall. That was an awesome experience. I did three sold-out shows. This year it’s the arena. All the greats performed there. Elvis performed there,” he said.
His shows aren’t squeaky clean, but they are family friendly so all ages can catch the punchline.
“I’m so grateful and thankful. I thank God every day for providing me with this gift and this ability to make people laugh,” he said.
Tumua hopes to eventually get his comedy onto major platforms like NetFlix or HBO ― a goal like that is nothing to laugh at.
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